How to make Donkwa

Popularly called Donkwa in the north of Nigeria, this corn meal snack is also called Tanfiri by the Yoruba people. It is a snack that will always evoke a lot of childhood memories for me.

Knowing how much I love Donkwa, one of my husband’s lovely aunts always ensures to send me Donkwa from Igbaja in Kwara state. I haven’t been able to get my son to get on the Donkwa train, but that’s okay, one less person to share with🤣. At his age, though I was already spending a fraction of my lunch money buying Donkwa from Hausa street hawkers.

This is how to make Donkwa/Tanfiri in 5-7 minutes.


Ingredients (this makes at least 2 dozen medium sized balls)

  • 2 cups Roasted Corn Grit/Corn Meal.
    • You can achieve this either by toasting your corn grit/meal in a dry pan to a light golden brown colour.
    • OR
    • By toasting your corn kernels in a dry pan on medium heat, stir constantly until the corn kernels turn golden brown. Some of the corn kernels may pop in the process. Leave it to cool in the pan. Then blend it in a high-powered to a fine powder. Sift with a wire mesh sieve to collect the fine powder. You will use the finer powder. You also grind your toasted corn kernels at an industrial mill (public grinders)
  • ½ – ¾ cup roasted groundnut powder or alternatively peanut butter
    • You can blend roasted groundnut in a blender to powder, so it doesn’t form a paste add some corn grit to loosen it up as you blend.
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper (chilli powder)
  • ½ tsp Salt (optional, not typically added)
  • 4 tbsp Water
  • 4 tbsp Vegetable oil


This is a no cook recipe, so this will be fun.

  • In a bowl mix corn grit, groundnut powder or paste, cayenne pepper powder, sugar, and salt. Mix with whisk or by hand until all ingredients are well incorporated.
  • Mix in oil next, then add water in slowly, kneading to form the texture of moist breadcrumbs.
  • Scoop some of the dough into your palm squeezing and rolling firmly till it forms balls.

Your Donkwa / Tanfiri is ready to be snacked on.

Store in an airtight container,

Drink Recommendation

Fresh Juice from Fontaine De Vie

4 thoughts on “Donkwa

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